Pucon - The best adventure sports resort youve never heard of!
Val d'isere, Chamonix, Whistler.....and now Pucon. Quite a statement I know. Anyone who has been to Pucon will tell you that its isnt as far fetched as it seems. Particularly if they have been lucky enough to visit in both summer and winter! Lets ignore the stunning scenery for a moment and focus instead on just what Pucon has to offer for the adrenaline junkie.
Mountain sports in Pucon
Overlooking Pucon is the dominating Villarica Volcano, providing a superb location for a variety of activities. In summer, the constant snow on Villarica provides an excellent introduction into mountain climbing as the climb to the summit is technically easy. Ice axe and crampons are required but guides are easy to find in Pucon. As an active volcano the summit is as spectacular as the view. The descent is a highlight as after being shown how to stop, climbers are encourage to descend on their behinds. this is a quick and exhilarating way to get back to Pucon for tea!
In winter Villarica is transformed into a decent ski resort. Pucon has an assortment of hire and clothing shops to kit you out. many will provide transport as well. The volcano has a range of runs of differing skill levels and the powder at the beginning of the season is particularly good. Combined with a stay in a local hospedaje, Pucon is a fantastic ski or snowboard destination.
Rafting and Kayaking in Pucon
Judged to be a grade 4 river run, the Trancura offers visitors to Pucon a fantastic opportunity to raft regardless of skill level. Lower graded runs are available. If you are looking for a new kind of white water buzz, the increasingly popular sport of hydrospeed is available on the Trancura. Pucon travel agencies will provide you with all the equipment you need including transport and provide hot drinks after the run.
Pucon is also home to several kayak schools. The vast range of rivers and lakes around Pucon provide plenty of opportunities to either learn from fresh in a thermal pool or test your skills on one of the many faster rivers.
Up in the Air in Pucon
Snow Sports? Check....Water sports? Check.....How about something to get your feet off the ground? Pucon Is a popular destination for skydiving. Tandem, static, combined and individual dives can all be had from the local aerodrome. With views of Pucon and the volcano it is guaranteed to be a very unique experience.
If you don't want to get quite that high on your Pucon visit, why not try flying through the trees on a canopy tour. Hanging 150 metres above the ground the course is 5 kilometres in length with the longest section being 1500 metres in length!
What else is there in Pucon?
If you havent found what you are looking for yet, then don't worry, Pucon has plenty more to offer its tourists. A course of bridges has been constructed in a local national park aimed at tourists looking to get up close with the local flora. 800 metres of bridges offers over an hour of stunning views of hot springs and of course, the volcano.
One of the best ways to explore the Pucon and reach areas that others cant is on horseback. Three local natural lagoons as well as forests and the lower slopes of Villarica can all form part of a horseback tour of Pucon. At the end of day in the saddle what better way to relax than a soak in a hot spring, drink in hand?
Relaxing in Pucon
With all these activities to tire you out, you'll need a day off! Perhaps the best way in summer to do this is on the beach of lago villarica, found just metres from Pucon town centre. More relaxed activities such as sailing and fishing can be had along with just relaxing on the beach and watching the world sail by.
Pucon is also home to a multitude of alpine style cafes, shops and restaurants, perfect for year round shopping and enjoying some of Chile's traditional food. In winter, open fires and hot chocolate ensure your day off from the piste is spent in comfort.
For an very Chilean experience you could try to stay in a hospedaje. Rather than a hotel stay, many opt to stay with local families in converted parts of the family home. Although mostly self catered, this is a fantastic opportunity to spend time with the locals and that means access to a wealth of local knowledge and advice.
A final word on Pucon
Undoubtedly, for most, Pucon is a long way to go. Yet there are few places that can offer such a vast array of activities year round. Pucon truly offers a fantastic gateway to any Patagonian trip and a taster of all that Chile has to offer, rewarding the hardy travellers that venture this far.
If you have been to Pucon and have anything you think worthy of including in this article, please comment below. I'm always keen to hear of the travelling experiences of others to the places Ive enjoyed.